Four years ago I wrote an article for The Occidental Observer about the Jewish Mexican Enrique Krauze and his hatred for Donald Trump and White Protestant America. Krauze has lived in Mexico City since his childhood and is one of the most respected intellectuals in the Spanish-speaking world. In 2003 the Spanish government decorated him with the Gran Cruz de la Orden de Alfonso X el Sabio, and last year he was awarded the Premio de Historia Órdenes Españolas.
This September Krauze published Spinoza en el Parque México (Spinoza in Mexico Park), his intellectual autobiography that is currently being praised by an important sector of the country’s educated bourgeoisie. The cover of Krauze’s book features Samuel Hirszenberg’s 1907 painting Spinoza Excommunicated. It is curious to note that, in one of his recent television interviews on his book tour, Krauze expressed himself very angrily, not only about Vladimir Putin, but also about Viktor Orbán, because the White man’s nationalism frightens him.
The book of more than 700 pages traces the ideological odyssey of Krauze, born in 1947, from his childhood talks with his grandfather Saul, an avid reader of Spinoza, to the 1980s. One chapter from the book is entitled “Athens or Jerusalem.” In other chapters, in addition to Spinoza, Krauze confesses how other Jews influenced his intellectual odyssey: from Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, Ernst Toller, Walter Benjamin, György Lukács, Gershom Scholem, Irving Howe, Isaiah Berlin, Joseph Brodsky to Daniel Bell. Although he also mentions several Jews of the Frankfurt school, he claims that it was gentiles such as the Mexicans Daniel Cosío Villegas and Octavio Paz who exerted the greatest influence on Krauze’s ideological journey.
Spinoza in Mexico Park was written in Spanish. I would like to translate for the English-speaking reader some passages of the book and will use the September 2022 Mexican edition printed by Editorial Planeta. On pages 39–41, Krauze writes: “We were raised. In my case, that upbringing was steeped in respect for Jewish traditions, Jewish customs and the Jewish past, the Yiddish language and its literature, but not so much for religion. … In my case, religious observance was limited to the synagogue with my maternal family on the occasion of the major holidays at the end of the year (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). There were several synagogues nearby. … I would sit with my grandfather José Kleinbort and be impressed by the melody of the Kol Nidré.”
A few pages later Krauze states that part of his family was annihilated by the Nazis, among them a maternal great-grandmother and his paternal great-grandfather, and together with them several great-uncles. Spinoza in Mexico Park is written in the form of short questions by his friend José María Lassalle, and long answers by Krauze about the readings that marked him. To the question “Forgive the brutal question, what did the word Hitler awaken in you”, Krauze replies: “As a child, infinite fear. Later, the will to fight absolute power” (page 57). Four pages later, however, he confesses to his imaginary interlocutor that the foul epithets used by Jews in private conversations against Mexican gentiles greatly bothered him.
It was not at all common in Mexico for Jewish émigrés to marry non-Jews. Krauze married Isabel Turrent, a Catholic woman, albeit only civilly. Krauze mentions that his grandmother became a socialist because of the Russian pogroms, and concedes that in the case of the Jewish revolutionaries, they sought “the advent of a world in which there would be no differences of race or religion.” That is why his grandmother became not only revolutionary “but maximalisti, that is, they participated from 1905 in the most radical and violent wing of the Bolsheviks and with religious zeal and conviction that by killing or blowing up police stations they were saving humanity. The passion of these young men had a typically Jewish messianic touch” (pages 75–76). Krauze also mentions that Lenin’s triumph changed, for the better, the condition of Jews in the Soviet Union. But his grandfather Saul seems to have been unaware of the Moscow trials, “or, if he knew of them, he had minimised their importance.” And Jewish involvement in the mass murder of the period is unmentioned. Saul, who died on Yom Kippur in 1976, was only disappointed when in 1948 Stalin had several Jewish Communists killed whose Yiddish literature he had admired.
In the short section of the book devoted to the Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig, Krauze says that Zweig and others who fled the Nazi regime “were Jews who were determined to forget who they were, but society denied them that impossible transmutation.” I have read several books by Zweig and I particularly like his biographies of tormented souls he wrote about—Hölderlin, Kleist and Nietzsche. I also read The World of Yesterday. But Krauze forgets that Zweig, like many Jews at the time, supported the Bolshevik Revolution. No wonder the Austrian authorities under the Third Reich warned him, not very subtly, that Zweig had better leave the country (which he did).
I rarely admire writers or intellectuals who have written in Latin America. The exceptions are the sixteenth-century chronicler Bernal Díaz del Castillo and José Vasconcelos, who died in 1959. The section on Vasconcelos is entitled “The Fallen Hero” (Krauze is not only a historian but a biographer of the most illustrious Mexicans). While Krauze became obsessed with the figure of Vasconcelos, whom he initially admired, he eventually learned that this highly intelligent Mexican was well aware of Jewish power: something no longer seen in any Spanish-speaking intellectual aspiring to fame. Vasconcelos edited the magazine Timón for a time, which was subsidized by the German embassy under the Third Reich regime, and the Mexican government promptly closed it down. Krauze tells us on page 215: “I don’t know if I will understand his descent into Nazism,” so it’s not surprising that Krauze does not mention, the Mexican journalist and revisionist historian Salvador Borrego (1915–2018), author of Derrota Mundial (1953), of 630 pages and 51 editions.
Salvador Borrego (center) at the First International Identity Conference in 2015
Borrego with the umbrella in his hand, who died aged 102, was such a remarkable journalist that on his centenary several personalities that readers of The Occidental Observer will recognise came to Mexico, among them David Duke, E. Michael Jones, Mark Weber, and Ernst Zündel (see photograph above). It is inconceivable that if even these and other international figures recognised Borrego’s work on behalf of Hitler’s Germany, Krauze ignored it. Derrota Mundial was Borrego’s major work, focusing on the origins, development and consequences of the Second World War, and prefaced from the second edition by José Vasconcelos himself. In his foreword, Vasconcelos wrote: “It is one of the most important books ever published in the American continent.”
On page 246, however, Krauze writes of the times when he was disappointed about the communist beliefs of his ancestors. He mentions Solzhenitsyn and the “appalling facts revealed” by the testimonies of The Gulag Archipelago, which Krauze first learned of when he read the March, 1974 issue of Plural, the magazine of the man who would become his friend and mentor, Octavio Paz (with whom he would go on to found another magazine of high culture in Mexico: Vuelta). By mid-1975 Krauze had left his generation, generally enamoured of the Soviet Union and Cuba, to “cross the street to the opposite pavement to join the magazine of our liberal ‘enemies.’”
It was not only Spanish-speaking Jews who were prone to reject Hitler. Krauze devotes a section of his book to the famed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, “a lucid and early critic of Nazism” (p. 349) and lover of Israel. This chapter surprised me because quite a few Argentines, like the Mexican Vasconcelos were Germanophiles during the brief period of the Third Reich. It was not only this side of Borges that I learned from Krauze’s book. I was also surprised to learn that the Mexican intellectual Gabriel Zaid, of Palestinian origin and Catholic faith, as well as being a close collaborator of Paz blamed Christian ethics for the revolutionary passion of the Salvadoran guerrillas (which would later infect other Central American countries). “I am certain that it was Zaid who first made explicit the connection between Catholic culture and the Latin American Marxist revolutionary spirit” (page 395). But this topic is beyond the scope of this review.
What matters is to see how Krauze subscribes to the official narrative about European anti-Semitism that culminated in the Holocaust: the hackneyed lachrymose interpretation that sees in Jewry only innocent lambs immolated by depraved Aryans. This is very clear in one of the final chapters of the book, “Memory of the Holocaust”, where Krauze casts the Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt as his Beatrice who guides him through a genocide that seems to him to be unfathomable.
The first thing that strikes one about the renowned historian Krauze is that he does not seem to have the slightest interest in the historical Hitler, but quite the opposite with the Hitler of dogmatic mythology sold to us by Allied propaganda. On page 605 he writes: “Hitler knew The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by heart and applied them to the letter. The myth of the Jewish conspiracy…,” and then quoting his beloved Arendt.
I wonder if Krauze is familiar with the scholarly work of another Jew. I refer to Albert Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge University Press, 1997). If there is one thing that emerges from Esau’s Tears, it is that the Jewish problem is not a gentile hallucination. Lindemann shows how Jewish subversion, throughout the nineteenth century (i.e., before the publication of the Protocols), exasperated Austrians and Germans to the point of producing rational anti-Jewish reactions. Given that Esau’s Tears received good reviews, even from Jews, it is inexcusable that Krauze would have written such things as the one quoted above. Then Krauze quotes Hans Frank, Himmler, and Hitler himself without taking into consideration the historical context, so well explained in Esau’s Tears. I mention Lindemann’s book instead of TOO authors because, Lindemann being a mainstream academic historian, the very erudite Jewish Krauze has no excuse for ignoring him. And he also ignores Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together, even though Krauze mentions the great Russian writer throughout Spinoza in Mexico Park.
Instead of the historian investigating the root causes for the so-called Holocaust through, say, Lindemann and Solzhenitsyn, Krauze writes: “It is impossible to represent the Holocaust. The Holocaust is ungraspable, inexpressible, incomprehensible. Me ken nisht (‘It can’t be done’), Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld told Irving Howe in Yiddish when he asked him if it was possible to make literature out of the Holocaust. He concluded that you could write about what happened before, during and after the Holocaust, but not in the Holocaust” (page 618). On the next page Krauze shows us a picture of one of his aunts who survived Nazi persecution and died as a very long-lived elderly woman; and how, when he met her and her husband, they showed him their arms, tattooed in concentration camps. Toward the end of his book, Krauze recounts a 1989 pilgrimage with his father to Wysków (Poland)—the town where his family had lived before emigrating to Mexico.
It seems elementary to me that I should answer the question with which I titled this review in the negative. Spinoza in Mexico Park boasts a veritable galaxy of personalities from the intellectual world who shaped Krauze’s worldview. But only a dishonest historian can omit fundamental readings that could potentially help him to understand “the ungraspable, inexpressible and incomprehensible.”
César Tort (1958-) lives in Mexico City. He has devoted most of his intellectual life to researching the psychological toll of domestic abuse on children and teenagers. In recent times he has devoted himself to writing about the darkest hour of the West, from the point of view of the interests of the White man.
 Vasconcelos is the only Latin American intellectual of renown who dared to speak out frankly about Mexico’s racial history. Eleven years ago Counter-Currents published a short text that I translated: “A Mexican Lesson for Americans: An Excerpt from José Vasconcelos, A Brief History of Mexico”.